OUR OPINION: Highlighting Black History throughout February

Published 4:00 am Saturday, February 4, 2023

The weekly “Vicksburg Facts” feature is one we’re thrilled to publish in each Friday edition of The Vicksburg Post, and for the month of February, stories will highlight significant events and figures in our city’s history.

This week’s Vicksburg Facts focus was Wesley Crayton, the first Black alderman elected in the city of Vicksburg. Crayton was a successful businessman in the city, beginning in the Reconstruction era and continuing through the 20th Century. He was also an early advocate for racial equality alongside his wife, Henrietta.

Crayton’s image can be seen as part of the Vicksburg Waterfront Murals, alongside other local figures in Black history.

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As a city filled with historic events, and people dedicated to preserving these stories, it’s an honor and a privilege to include Vicksburg’s Black history in a dedicated feature each week this month. Making sure these stories are included in the story of our city is vital to continuing Vicksburg’s rich legacy.

Thinking of figures like Hiram Revels, Madame C.J. Walker, the U.S. Colored Troops who fought at Milliken’s Bend, Isaiah Montgomery, Willie Dixon and the lives lost in events like the Vicksburg Massacre, it’s important for future generations to know who came before them.

And The Post isn’t the only place in town where you can find odes to the city’s Black History.

The Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, as illustrated on page A1 of this weekend’s edition, brought a long-awaited project to fruition through its African American Heritage Tour and Brochure. What’s more, the committee members are asking for feedback from others to ensure as many significant places are included in the brochure as possible.

It’s a commendable effort and one that will only add to offerings for tourists and locals alike.

Our local Chick-fil-A, through the leadership of franchise owner Nick Jones, is dedicating one night a week throughout the month of February to thanking a Black leader in the community. The guest of honor will have the opportunity to enjoy dinner with patrons at the restaurant, and diners will have the opportunity to ask questions and get to know movers and shakers in our town.

In a city with such an expansive history as Vicksburg, it’s impossible to relegate Black history to a single month. That being said — it’s not a bad place to start.